Community Preservation Committee Update

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Budgets, land purchases and the repair of the Town Common fountain were on the agenda last week when the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) met for it's scheduled meeting.

The January 19th meeting also brought up the much discussed topic of the new ramp for the town library that would replace the existing, non-compliant ramp. Committee Chair John Coolidge said the committee would approve bids up to $20,000 for the project. The article will be voted on at Town Meeting.

The potential purchase of three properties valued at $300,000 to $1 million is on hold. Negotiations on the properties have come to a halt and will not resume for at least 60 to 90 days. A new 20+ acre property purchase was also discussed during Wednesday's meeting. The cost of the acquisition was set at $300,000 but could be less, according to Coolidge. Additional details on the possible purchase should be available in a month.

The restoration project for the fountain on the Town Common edged forward a bit more at the recent meeting. Project backers are trying to rebuild the fountain to its original three tier configuration. A crack in the bottom part of the structure and a new top tier are needed to complete the restoration. Funds have already been approved at Town Meeting for the planned project, but the restoration has proceeded very slowly.

Town resident Jeff Furber raised $20,000 to start the project back in 2007. Furber also contacted a foundry in Georgia to look into casting the new parts for the fountain. The Georgia firm estimated the repair work would cost around $80,000. At Wednesday’s meeting Chairman Coolidge asked committee member Bill Shaw to write the Request for Information (RFI) to help locate a qualified contractor to perform the repairs. The committee is also looking for specifications for the repair and restoration of fountains similar to the one on the Town Common.

Like many other town committees, the CPC has started their preliminary budget review for fiscal year 2012. The proposed draft of the committee's budget was presented at the Wednesday meeting. Projected funding is expected to total $897,000 with $690,000 coming from the town and $207,000 coming from state matching funds. The committee expects the budget to be finalized by June.